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    Earliest known lumber from the fabled Grey Eagle

    1910-12 Tris Speaker Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8.
    He would become the fifth man to be welcomed into the 3,000 Hit Club in 1925, retiring three years later with 3,514 base knocks to his credit, today good enough for fifth in baseball history. But the legendary Grey Eagle was just a hatchling when he started blazing his path to immortality with the ancient lumber proudly presented here. By the time the Boston Red Sox' World Championship season of 1912 was complete, the end of the three-season span from which this bat derives, Speaker's total stood at a paltry 769.

    A staggering 222 of those hits had been recorded during that glorious Championship campaign, with Speaker's fifty-three doubles and ten home runs printed with the bold black ink of American League supremacy in that season's record books, earning him his first and only Most Valuable Player Award.

    Surely the extraordinary achievements of that 1912 season were the inspiration for the offer of an endorsement contract from J.F. Hillerich & Son, the covenant that allows the experts at PSA/DNA to close the potential production range of this important relic. All bats produced for Speaker after 1912 bore his facsimile signature. The particular format of "dash-dot-dash" center branding provides the 1910 start date.

    Here, the barrel announces the immortal surname in bold block lettering, and while no first name appears, a study of the public record finds no other "Speaker" active at any level of the professional game at the time. It is important to stress that block-lettered bats were only made for the named athlete, and never for retail sale.

    Attribution to Tris is further strengthened by the fidelity of the bat's specifications to those he favored. At thirty-four and three-quarter inches (34.75") and nearly forty-one ounces (40.7 oz.), the hefty hunk of ash matches up perfectly. Furthermore, caliper readings for width of knob, handle and barrel perfectly replicate the dimensions of the "Old Tris Speaker" reading in the factory PBOR (professional bat ordering record).

    Leading expert John Taube assesses game use as "outstanding," as to be expected from a period when thick-handled could survive for a season and beyond. This specimen remains uncracked, but tactile grain separation at the barrel speaks to the war in the trenches. Black marker text at knob and barrel end, likely the surname of a collector, date to many decades after game action and have no effect upon authenticity. Unquestionably one of the most important game used relics from the Dead Ball Era that Heritage has had the privilege to offer. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2018
    24th-25th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,439

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Feb 24, 2018 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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